It’s Time to Get Down, Little Doggie!
As dog guardians, we want a well behaved dog. For this to happen, dogs need to be trained. One aspect of dog training that poses a challenge for many dog guardians is teaching the down command. When you have visitors come over, many dogs jump on them in greeting. A few minutes of dog training each day will teach your dog the down command.
Steps To Teaching Down Command
According to an article on pets.thenest.com, there is a methodical way of teaching your dog the down command.
Step 1: Take A Walk
First of all, take him for a long walk and then play with him prior to the dog training session.
Step 2: Go To Quiet Spot
Next, bring him to a quiet area in the house free from distractions and tell him to “sit.” (You may have to repeat this command until he listens.)
Step 3: Show Your Dog What You Want Him To Do
Give your dog the “down” command while placing one hand on his back, using your other hand to lift his front paws and lower them to the floor into a lying position.
This demonstrates your role as the pack leader and also teaches him what to expect when you utter the word “down.” Be sure to praise him and give him a treat after he responds positively to the command.
Step 4: Use Treat As Incentive
You can hold a tasty treat in front of your dog and lure him to lie down. Let him sniff or even lick the treat but don’t let him take it just yet.
Say “down” and lower your hand to the floor while you hold the treat between your fingers. Once your dog assumes the “down” position, offer him the treat. Then, step away and clap your hands to encourage him to get up.
Step 5: Repeat Command, Reduce Treats
Continue doing this, slowly reducing the number of treats and then just use your hand to lure him down. Of course, there is no limit to the praise you can give him when he obeys.
Eventually, you should be able to make your luring hand signal smaller and stop lowering it all the way to the floor. At this point, your dog should respond to the simple command of “down.”
Be sure to repeat this exercise in other areas of the house so he becomes familiar with the command no matter where he is.
Once your dog has learned the command, practice it for a few minutes each day. This will reinforce his training so he won’t forget what he’s learned.